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Cursus: GEO4-1434
Principles of groundwater flow
Cursus informatie
Studiepunten (EC)7,5
This course introduces the basic principles and methods necessary to quantify flow of water and transport of solutes through saturated porous media. In addition, students will be introduced to basic numerical methods and (professional) software for simulating groundwater flow.  
The importance of groundwater as a resource and as a critical component in many environmental issues is widely recognized. Groundwater hydrology is a rapidly evolving science and plays a key role in understanding a variety of subsurface processes.
  1. Porous media properties such as porosity and intrinsic permeability, hydraulic conductivity, erosion, fractures, continuum approach, Representative Elementary Volume REV- concept, up-scaling from pore-to continuum scale, basic fluid mechanical concepts.
  2. Groundwater flow: Darcy's Law, hydraulic head, hydraulic conductivity, pore pressure, anisotropy, Dupuit assumptions, mapping of flow, flow in fractured media.
  3. Flow equations in confined and unconfined aquifers: combining the mass balance equation and Darcy’s Law, boundary conditions, storage properties of porous media: compressibility of groundwater and compressibility of the solid phase, Boussinesq approximation, initial and boundary conditions, flow nets, dimensional analysis, analytical solutions of simple hydro-geological problems.
  4. Density-dependent flow, coastal aquifers.
  5. Super position principle, method of images, Analytical Element Method.
  6. Transient flow of groundwater, pumping tests, slug tests, constant head and falling head tests.
  7. Groundwater flow modeling, modeling approaches (schematization), simulation, evaluation model results, model verification and validation, finite differences, grids, integration in time, initial and boundary conditions, computer models, introduction to ModFlow, modeling exercises with ModFlow.
  8. Particle tracking in groundwater modeling.
  9. Two excursions are an integral part of this course. In general a visit to a bank-infiltration water supply pumping station (De Steeg of Oasen) and a trip to a groundwater remediation site.
During the course a variety of home works is presented to the students. Each home work contributes to the final grade. The idea of the home works is ‘continuous assessment’ of the students. In the final weeks of the course, the students are confronted with old exams, either as a graded homework or as an additional example to get acquainted with the examination style.
The home works, including the computer homework(s) contribute to 25 % of the final grade. The written exam contributes 75%.
Grades between 5.50 and 5.99 are rounded up to 6.0. Grades between 5.0 and 5.49 are rounded down to 5.0. The right to a repair examination is granted if the final grade lies between 4.0 and 5.0. The result of the repair exam will be expressed as a pass (grade = 6.0) or a fail. Failure in the repair stage implies redoing the course in the following academic year.
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